Civil Debates on Christianity and Religions

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 1: Tue May 02, 2017 9:34 am
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Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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Arrow I did not read the HP books, so I am just talking about the 8 movies, but all are welcome here.

Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

One first is that it tells of practical and realistic forms of magic, as like a person can not fly but there could be a type of flying machine which looks like a broom. That changes the magic into some thing possible.

Also the magic comes from a wand and people could conceivably make a wand that works wonders.

Having a love potion is realistic which looks like magic, or any sort of potion can be created to look like magic.

A lot of religious people (especially Christians) have the mistaken idea that any true miracle has to happen like magic without any realistic mechanism, and that kind of magic is not really the way of miracles. So Harry Potter comes closer to reality then does a lot of the religious mysticism.

As like having a baby is a miracle, and flying in an airplane is a type of miracle, and people breaking the bonds of addiction is a real miracle - and so Harry Potter does fancy kinds of miracles and calls it to be magic.

Next if we think about it (as I have) then the discovery that the planet earth is spinning around the Sun at high speed and being held in the perfect position by invisible forces - then that is a by far a bigger and more spectacular miracle than anything told in the Bible, and it is far more magical than anything done in the Harry Potter stories.

Truth is stranger than fiction.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 2: Tue May 02, 2017 3:41 pm
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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You've injected a very forced interpretation into the Harry Potter series. And you've also let some of your other assumptions color your claims in ways that can be contested.

JP Cusick wrote:

Arrow I did not read the HP books, so I am just talking about the 8 movies, but all are welcome here.

Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.


Yeah, religious symbolism is a very marketable and imaginative way to enhance literature. I don't disagree.

JP Cusick wrote:

One first is that it tells of practical and realistic forms of magic, as like a person can not fly but there could be a type of flying machine which looks like a broom. That changes the magic into some thing possible.


The magic of Harry Potter's fictional universe is depicted as having rules and limitations, but these are expressed as being limited more by imagination and creativity than physical laws. Beginners are taught how to pronounce spells, only to learn that they simply need to will the spells into being with enough practice and effort. Potions have lists of ingredients, yet have fantastical results that are clearly greater than the sums of their parts. Education being a key aspect of the setting allows for greater immersion into a field of fiction that isn't explored well in many other sources of fiction. So it's safer to say that the magic of Harry Potter is constrained by rules, but these aren't the same rules governing real physical laws.

JP Cusick wrote:

Also the magic comes from a wand and people could conceivably make a wand that works wonders.


At some point, wizards and witches learn how to manipulate objects without the use of wands; casting charms appears to still require a wand in most cases. I suppose the self-satisfying response would be that a wand is a 'focus' for the inherent magic affinity for wizards and witches, and is needed in many cases, but not in others.

JP Cusick wrote:

Having a love potion is realistic which looks like magic, or any sort of potion can be created to look like magic.


This is the part where you've tried to slide in the insinuation that "science is really just like magic in lots of ways." If you wanna go this route, you have to add so many caveats as to make the comparison trivial.

JP Cusick wrote:

A lot of religious people (especially Christians) have the mistaken idea that any true miracle has to happen like magic without any realistic mechanism, and that kind of magic is not really the way of miracles. So Harry Potter comes closer to reality then does a lot of the religious mysticism.


Yep, a large population of Christians condemned a great deal of pop culture, including Harry Potter, Pokemon, etc. Whether it was too mystical, too satanic, or just too foreign, the American Christian demographic made its bias known and rightly developed a stereotype that continues to be understood by the Millennials as a form of regressive fear-mongering. I should think it wouldn't matter how the magic in the story is described, the fear-mongering of the 90's and early 2000's was something that couldn't be stopped because Christians wanted to hate it.

JP Cusick wrote:

As like having a baby is a miracle, and flying in an airplane is a type of miracle, and people breaking the bonds of addiction is a real miracle - and so Harry Potter does fancy kinds of miracles and calls it to be magic.


Here's where your earlier hinting at "real world phenomena is miraculous," takes fruit and you make some rather stunning claims. Conflating multiple definitions of "miracle" only comes off as forced and even manipulative. If someone calls something "miraculous" in that it is an incredible achievement, that's a fine colloquialism. If someone calls something "miraculous" in that it is a source of divine intervention, then sorry, but nothing about the events you describe fits the bill. If someone calls something "miraculous" as a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law, then that still doesn't fit the bill. Everything we observe in live birth and aerospace engineering is very much natural and even mundane, if we allow dissenting voices to represent their opinion on otherwise completely normal occurrences.

JP Cusick wrote:

Next if we think about it (as I have) then the discovery that the planet earth is spinning around the Sun at high speed and being held in the perfect position by invisible forces - then that is a by far a bigger and more spectacular miracle than anything told in the Bible, and it is far more magical than anything done in the Harry Potter stories.


You really jump into deep water with trying to call everything physical "miraculous," because tying together Harry Potter magic with the idea of "undiscovered scientific findings" causes the average Christian to believe that miracles, being outside the scope of science, are perfectly normal and reasonable to believe in. And you sprinkle in claims about mundane events and call them miraculous, to boot. You've stacked the deck in a way that only a Christian can, but you'll find that this is all unconvincing and laden with religious assumptions if you look at it from an outside perspective.

JP Cusick wrote:

Truth is stranger than fiction.


And that quote has been pulled apart over decades to justify unreasonable claims about reality and things that can't be justified. It should be used with caution, not as a means of tying a neat little bow on a post equivocating several different events, both real and fictional, together under the moniker "miracle."

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 3: Tue May 02, 2017 4:20 pm
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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Neatras wrote:

JP Cusick wrote:

As like having a baby is a miracle, and flying in an airplane is a type of miracle, and people breaking the bonds of addiction is a real miracle - and so Harry Potter does fancy kinds of miracles and calls it to be magic.


Here's where your earlier hinting at "real world phenomena is miraculous," takes fruit and you make some rather stunning claims. Conflating multiple definitions of "miracle" only comes off as forced and even manipulative. If someone calls something "miraculous" in that it is an incredible achievement, that's a fine colloquialism. If someone calls something "miraculous" in that it is a source of divine intervention, then sorry, but nothing about the events you describe fits the bill. If someone calls something "miraculous" as a divinely natural phenomenon experienced humanly as the fulfillment of spiritual law, then that still doesn't fit the bill. Everything we observe in live birth and aerospace engineering is very much natural and even mundane, if we allow dissenting voices to represent their opinion on otherwise completely normal occurrences.

I am happy that you caught this point - even though you missed the point. Tongue

The problem is when people demand that "miraculous" and miracle has to mean a divinely unnatural or supernatural phenomenon.

The word / name of "natural and nature" are just another name for God, and as such God is always natural and never supernatural or unnatural.

The fact is just that humanity is growing and maturing so that we are starting to do the miracles instead of just looking to God as supernatural.

This point is well made in the Harry Potter movies - that human beings are really demigods or children of God or otherwise called as Wizards in HP.

If an aircraft carrier were to go back in time to the 1st century then they would rightly be Gods to the people.

Science is already experimenting with DNA to bring back the dead, and walking on water is not a far fetched idea for molecular science, and Google research might give us a magic wand any day now.

Harry Potter is a type of prophesy for the future.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 4: Wed May 03, 2017 12:31 pm
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:

Religion in Harry Potter stories:

Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

Another significant part is in the very first HP movie when the big scary giant Hagrid came to bring Harry to the Hogwarts school - then most people would run and hide or in fact call the police, and who in real life would believe the claim that they were a Wizard? as Hagrid told to Harry.

It is a point of the story that Harry had faith and courage, and Harry acted on his faith and courage.

As such in real life when people experience ghost and or spirits then they do not believe and people resist any form of unusual contact, and it appears to be the same when God calls people to repentance - that they resist.

The message of scriptures is that we are each and all the children of God - which is better than being a Wizard.

The HP stories are telling people to be brave and take the chance and go with it.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 5: Fri May 05, 2017 10:37 am
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:

Arrow Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

The villain Voldemort was seeking after eternal life.

The diabolical saying put into his script was this:

"There is no good and evil, there is only power, and those too weak to seek it."

This saying is very close to accurate and true, because the "good and evil" (more accurate from Bible is "good and bad") are the poisoned knowledge which kills people, see Genesis 2:17, and yet there is great power available in this world.

In the "Gospel of Peter" it quotes the words of Jesus on the cross as this:
"My power, my power, thou hast forsaken me."

This quote makes sense for Jesus to say, because Jesus had the power.

And that quote comes from the Psalm 22:1 where the old Hebrew word Elohim can be translated as "power" which is far more accurate than translating the word into God.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 6: Sat May 06, 2017 10:28 am
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:

JP Cusick wrote:

Arrow Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

The villain Voldemort was seeking after eternal life.

I forgot to point out that even Voldemort had to sacrifice (had to kill) other person(s) in order to gain the eternal life.

Just as Jesus had to die for others to live.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 7: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:47 pm
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:

Arrow
Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

In the "Deathly Hallows: Part 2", it has a scene where Harry is talking with the ghost woman Rowena Ravenclaw about the "Lost Diadem of Ravenclaw" and in order to persuade the ghost to tell him where it was - then Harry told her that he wanted to destroy it, which is what she wanted too.

As such Harry by seeking righteousness he gave hope to the dead, gave the hope of righting the old wrong.

This is what we too need to do, by repenting we change the past and we can give comfort to the dead for their lingering regrets.

It is a miracle to do.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 8: Fri Nov 10, 2017 7:02 am
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:
Lots of cool religious stuff in the Harry Potter stories.

I'm not a huge fan though I did read the first book to my son who then went on to read the rest of the series on his own. A little later I was a parent governor of his primary school and there was general agreement the Harry Potter series was both bringing a generation to reading and also reaching demographics that probably would never read a book otherwise. So in that sense JK Rowling did a lot of good. She also identifies as Christian and has since hinted or states there are Christian themes woven into the tale. I'm not a Christian but the thought does not bother me.

I think what Harry Potter along with all the super hero movies reaffirm human beings love magical fantastic superhuman narratives. Superman and the rest fulfil the need in the human psyche that the gods of old fulfilled. Whilst Harry Potter is not exactly a god an archetype of story telling is the chosen one who learns they have a secret past and some kind of special power. Harry fulfils that role.

JP Cusick wrote:
A lot of religious people (especially Christians) have the mistaken idea that any true miracle has to happen like magic without any realistic mechanism, and that kind of magic is not really the way of miracles. So Harry Potter comes closer to reality then does a lot of the religious mysticism.

But do Christians shy away from Harry Potter Style magical thinking because of a fear or disdain for paganism and animism and associating witchcraft with satanism. There was a short lived campaign by some Christian groups to try and get Harry Potter removed from schools for these kinds of reasons.

JP Cusick wrote:
Next if we think about it (as I have) then the discovery that the planet earth is spinning around the Sun at high speed and being held in the perfect position by invisible forces - then that is a by far a bigger and more spectacular miracle than anything told in the Bible, and it is far more magical than anything done in the Harry Potter stories.

Well yes - and the more modern narrative that fulfils the fantasy role has been science fiction. But science fiction often still needs to take the rather magical universe as you describe and fill it with even more magic be that warp drives or alternative dimensions or time travel so so on.

But whether we are talking about Harry Potter, Superman, Star wars or religion they all tease the human imagination with very similar narrative structures. The human mind seems to love super human powers, great challenges, quests, searches, and characters with the burden of history on their shoulders.

Here's an instance of why there is nothing really new. Harry Potter, Superman, Luke Skywalker, Moses are all orphans or at least abandoned and adrift from where there home ought to have been and missing their original parents. Their pasts are secret or unknown or barely known to them. They have or find a mission to fight evil or redress injustice, and each has or invokes supernatural powers in their journeys.

JP Cusick wrote:
Truth is stranger than fiction.

At time it is and I think that comes down to reality not needing a narrative but humans more often than not do. We seem to be predisposed to project meaning onto stuff and sometimes the accidental quirkiness of reality resists falling in line with a narrative. For instance a good narrative eschews coincidence. A novel or screenplay that relied on multiple coincidences would be criticised for weak writing. I guess if comes down to the difference between how and why. Science tells us how but a good story tells us why. Thus that world spinning around the sun, which by itself is an amazing stunning thought, still fails to fire some folk's imagination because knowing that it does is less important than knowing why? And it is the story that tells us why. Hence Christians can invoke miracles without any idea how because within the Christian narrative they have the why answered.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 9: Sat Nov 11, 2017 10:38 am
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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Furrowed Brow wrote:

JP Cusick wrote:
A lot of religious people (especially Christians) have the mistaken idea that any true miracle has to happen like magic without any realistic mechanism, and that kind of magic is not really the way of miracles. So Harry Potter comes closer to reality then does a lot of the religious mysticism.

But do Christians shy away from Harry Potter Style magical thinking because of a fear or disdain for paganism and animism and associating witchcraft with satanism. There was a short lived campaign by some Christian groups to try and get Harry Potter removed from schools for these kinds of reasons.

It is sad about Christians who desperately hold onto "that old time religion" because it prevents them from maturing out of their childish notions into the mature faith.

See Hebrews 5:
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong food.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both right and wrong.
-

I believe that God inspires this "Harry Potter" message to every person instead of to the religion as a group, and so the truth is transmitted to the people, and once again Christianity as a whole gets left in the dust.

The same reality happened with modern Scholarly Biblical Criticism, in that the truth was made known - and Christianity as a whole failed to embrace the new truths.

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Post BBCode URL - Right click and save to clipboard to use later in post Post 10: Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:20 am
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Re: Religion in Harry Potter stories:

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JP Cusick wrote:


It is sad about Christians who desperately hold onto "that old time religion" because it prevents them from maturing out of their childish notions into the mature faith.

See Hebrews 5:
12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong food.

13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14 But strong food belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both right and wrong.
-

I believe that God inspires this "Harry Potter" message to every person instead of to the religion as a group, and so the truth is transmitted to the people, and once again Christianity as a whole gets left in the dust.

The same reality happened with modern Scholarly Biblical Criticism, in that the truth was made known - and Christianity as a whole failed to embrace the new truths.


And yet you would rather have these "old time religion" Christians turn the country into a theocracy instead of having the secular USA continue. I don't understand your worldview.

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